Detailed Cretaceous Lebanese Octopus Fossil

Paleoctopus newboldi

Mollusca, Cephalopoda, Octopoda

Geological Time: Middle Cretaceous, Cenomanian Stage (~95 million years ago)

Size: 85 mm long

Fossil Site: Haqel, Lebanon

Octopus FossilDescription: Here is a most unusual fossil from the Cretaceous of Lebanon; a very detailed octopus. Given the fact that there are no hard parts to preserve to speak of, the detail here is amazing. The last photo has been enhanced to bring out some features which are somewhat faint. The darkest area is actually preserved ink which the octopus would have used as a smokescreen to protect it from predators. Few examples are ever offered for sale, with this being one of the best I have come across. There are two small fish present as well, most likely Hajulia sp.

click to enlarge

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